How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Vail Colorado
Getting a physical therapist degree near Vail CO is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Vail CO hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Vail CO health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Vail CO area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Vail CO residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Vail CO area and throughout Colorado, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Vail CO physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Colorado Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Vail CO area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Vail CO hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Vail medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Vail CO residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Vail CO area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Vail Colorado?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Vail CO area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Vail is a Home Rule Municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The population of the town was 5,305 in 2010. The town, home to Vail Ski Resort, the largest ski mountain in Colorado, is known as one of America's wealthiest small towns and known for its affluence, for its luxury hotels and dining, and for the numerous events the city hosts annually, such as the Vail Film Festival and Bravo! Vail.
Vail was incorporated in 1966, four years after the opening of Vail Ski Resort. The ski area was founded by Pete Seibert and local rancher Earl Eaton in 1962, at the base of Vail Pass. The pass was named after Charles Vail, the highway engineer who routed U.S. Highway 6 through the Eagle Valley in 1940, which eventually became Interstate 70. Seibert, a New England native, served in the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division during World War II, which trained at Camp Hale, 14 miles south of Vail between Red Cliff and Leadville. He was wounded in Italy at the Battle of Riva Ridge but went on to become a professional skier after he recovered.
Seibert, with other former members of the 10th Mountain Division, returned to Colorado after World War II with the intention of opening a ski resort. During training for ski troopers at Camp Hale, he bivouacked on Vail Mountain and identified it as an ideal ski mountain. In the early 1960s, Seibert got funds from a group of Colorado investors, including Jack Tweedy, and with Earl Eaton bought a ranch at the base of the mountain and eventually incorporated as Vail Associates. As plans continued for a new ski resort, Seibert hired Morrie Shepard as Vail's first ski school director. Shortly after, Shepard recruited Rod Slifer from Aspen to be assistant ski school director. Slifer also became the only real estate broker in the early years of Vail and would later be the broker in the transaction that allowed Vail to buy a ranch, now known as the world-famous Beaver Creek.
Pediatric Physical Therapy Schools Vail CO
Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Pediatric Physical Therapy Schools. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Vail CO.
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